Archive for January, 2016

On the 19th of January it will be one year since my life was changed for the better. For anyone that was browsing the web looking for acdf recovery or cervical spine fusion, they may have read one of my posts. It was practically a year ago to the day that I was contemplating my future without competitive cycling let alone any cycling.  I was looking at selling off my bikes, informing my sponsor Hammer Nutrition that I was out, etc.  The neck pain, the images (x-ray and MRI), and finally the talk with a neurosurgeon that led to a multi-level C4-5-6 3 days later.  My recovery has been nothing but stellar based on the data that I browsed endlessly during my 45 day post op recovery.  Was it my high protein low carb diet combined with Hammer Nutrition supplements or some other factor?  I only know that, for a year that I figured to be spending off a bike was anything but that.  Commencing with riding on a trainer one week post-op to riding outside 2 weeks later.  My participation in racing came after a trip to Moab in which, if I wasn’t hurting then as long as I stayed upright I felt I was going to be ok.  My doctor agreed and gave me the green light to do whatever. He was definitely a “I’m not here to hold your hand and tell you what you can and can’t do” Doctor.  Call it increased awareness or some kind of Jedi mind trick but where I should have been practicing caution, I was instead riding fast over technical terrain. Faster and better than I ever have before.  Much of the increase confidence came from the purchase of a proper full suspension trail bike, a Specialized Stumpjumper.  My fit on my Spearfish was ok, but lacked the plushness and more uprightness I was looking for while I healed up completely. The extra weight didn’t hurt for training on either. 

This year I was lucky enough to be featured in 2 Hammer Nutrition Endurance News articles, one on my use of EMS (electro muscle stimulation) as a recovery tool between laps during a 24 hour Duo race and another on recovery after an accident (or surgery in my case).  I can’t thank them enough for standing beside me during this trying year.  I’m looking forward to another year of support in 2016.  

 
Here is my Strava year in review, mind you these are almost entirely off-road miles which makes it even more impressive, IMO.  Strava 2015

And another info graphic from @veloviewer that I really like because it includes running

  

So winter is upon me and for those that know, it doesn’t slow me down. This year I’m riding a fantastic Specialized carbon Fatboy. It has been nothing short of extraordinary in handling and low weight. 

 It’ll work great on dirt and snow trails
   
Stay upright my friends and Hammer On